Efficacy of Vitazal® in foals with anemia syndrome

Keywords: anemia, erythrocytes, hemoglobin, iron, iron transferrin complex, treatment


Syndrome of anemia in foals manifests itself in the first weeks of their life, and occurs because of oxygen deficiency and excess of carbon dioxide after birth, and caused by a deficiency of trace minerals (iron, copper, cobalt, zinc, iodine, selenium), cyanocobalamin, and folic acid. For the experiment, we selected two groups of foals (age 20–30 days old) with pale conjunctiva. Animals of the experimental group were injected intramuscularly with Vitazal® 5 ml for 6 days. Foals of the control group received 6 ml of Ferrovet® intramuscularly, again after 10 days. The condition of erythrocytopoiesis was studied before drug administration and 30 days after treatment. It was found that 30 days after the administration of the drug in experimental group animals, the number of red blood cells increased by 31.4% (P < 0.001). In the control group, this indicator did not change significantly and did not differ from the values before the treatment. The hemoglobin content in experimental group foals after treatment significantly increased by 28.9% (P < 0,001). In contrast, 66.7% of animals in the control group showed oligochromemia. A similar trend of changes was noted in the determination of the hematocrit value. Changes were also found in the fractional composition of erythrocytes. In particular, after treatment in foals of both groups, the number of «old» erythrocytes decreased (P < 0.05). At the same time, the number of «mature» populations increased only in experimental group foals (P < 0.001). Regarding «young» erythrocyte populations, their number decreased in experimental animals by 8.3% (P < 0.001). However, in foals treated with Ferrovet® (control group), the proportion of «young» cells was increased after treatment, which apparently indicates the activation of proliferation and increased elimination of immature erythrocytes from the bone marrow. The iron content after the introduction of Vitazal® in foals of experimental group significantly increased by 45.6% and on average 26.8 ± 1.07 μmol/l (P < 0,01). In control animals after treatment, the content of this biometal did not change significantly. FTC values in the experimental group, namely TIBC and UIBC in 30 days after treatment significantly decreased (P < 0,001), while in foals of control group they remained unchanged. Iron metabolism directly depends on its transport form - transferrin protein. Throughout the study period, its content in control and experimental group animals was the same. However, the saturation of transferrin with iron in experimental group animals after the introduction of Vitazal® significantly increased by 19.8% and averaged 40.2 ± 1.26% (P < 0.001). In foals that received Ferrovet®, this indicator did not change 1 month after treatment. Thus, the study found a positive antianemic effect of the drug Vitazal® for anemic syndrome in foals.


Download data is not yet available.


Ahn, C., Lee, M.-J., & Jeung, E.-B. (2017). Expression and localization of equine tissue-specific divalent ion-transporting channel proteins. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 59, 14–25.

Anderson, E. R., & Shah, Y. M. (2013). Iron Homeostasis in the Liver. Comprehensive Physiology, 3(1), 315−330.

Aytekin, I., Onmaz, A. C., Aypak, S. U., Gunes, V., & Kucuk, O. (2010). Changes in serum mineral concentrations, biochemical and hematological parameters in horses with pica. Biological Trace Element Research, 139(3), 301–307.

Antoniak, H. L. (2002). Osoblyvosti hemopoezu u tvaryn na rannikh stadiiakh postnatalnoho rozvytku [Features of hematopoiesis in animals in the early stages of postnatal development]. Extended abstract of candidates thesis. Lviv (in Ukrainian).

Armitage, A. E., Eddowes, L. A., Gileadi, U., Cole, S., Spottiswoode, N., Selvakumar, T. A., Ho, L.P., Townsend, A.R.M., & Drakesmith, H. (2011). Hepcidin regulation by innate immune and infectious stimuli. Blood, 118(15), 4129–4139.

Baydar, E., & Dabak, M. (2014). Serum iron as an indicator of acute inflammation in cattle. Journal of Dairy Science, 97(1), 222–228.

Borges, Ai. S., Divers, T. J., Stokol, T., & Mohammed, O. H. (2007). Serum Iron and plasma fibrinogen concentrations as indicators of systemic inflammatory diseases in horses. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 21(3), 489–494.

Cavill, I. (2002). Erythropoiesis and iron. Best Practice & Research Clinical Haematology, 15(2), 399–409.

Chiba, A., Aoki, T., Itoh, M., Yamagishi, N., & Shibano, K. (2017). Hematological and blood biochemical characteristics of newborn heavy draft foals after dystocia. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 50, 69–75.

Fasolia, V. P. (2008). Diahnostyka i likuvannia hepatopankreatychnoho syndromu v sobak. Scientific Messenger of LNU of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnologies, 10(37), 366−372 (in Ukrainian).

Franchini, M., Montagnana, M., & Lippi, G. (2010). Hepcidin and iron metabolism: From laboratory to clinical implications. Clinica Chimica Acta, 411(21−22), 1565–1569.

Holovaha, V. I, & Piddubnjak, O. V. (2008). Sostojanie jeritrocitopojeza u zherebjat ukrainskoj verhovoj porody [The state of erythrocytopoiesis in foals of the Ukrainian riding breed]. Veterynarna Medytsyna, 91, 150–155 (in Ukrainian).

Humann-Ziehank, E. (2020). New insights on a long-known element − iron, hepcidin and inflammation. Tieraerztliche Praxis Ausgabe Grosstiere Nutztiere, 48(03), 183–190.

Johns, I. C., Desrochers, A., Wotman, K. L., & Sweeney, R. W. (2011). Presumed immune-mediated hemolytic anemia in two foals with Rhodococcus equi infection. Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, 21(3), 273–278.

Lehmann, C. D. (2020). Iron should be restricted in acute infection. Frontiers in Bioscience, 25(4), 673–682.

Levchenko, V. I., Piddubniak, O. V., Holovakha, V. I., & Moskalenko, V. P. (2009). Vplyv katozalu ta ferodeksu na stan hemopoezu za anemii u loshat [The effect of Catozal and Ferrodex on the state of hematopoiesis in anemia in foals]. Visnyk Bilotserkivskoho derzhavnoho ahrarnoho universytetu, 62, 40–45 (in Ukrainian).

Panas, N. Ye., Antoniak, H. L., & Snitynskyi, V. V. (2003). Stan hemopoezu i funktsionalni vlastyvosti hemohlobinu tvaryn za umov nestachi kysniu [The state of hematopoiesis and functional properties of animal hemoglobin in conditions of oxygen deficiency]. Visnyk Lvivskoho Derzhavnoho Ahrarnoho Universyttu, 34, 57−64 (in Ukrainian).

Plemjashov, K. V. (2008). Jeffektivnost’ primenenija gemobalansa v fermerskom hozjajstve [The effectiveness of the use of hemobalance in the farm]. Veterinarija, 1, 13−15.

Robinson, Je. (2007). Bolezni loshadej. Sovremennye metody lechenija [Diseases of horses. Modern methods of treatment]. Moscow. OOO «Akvarium-Print».

Ruby, R. E., Wong, D. M., Sponseller, B. A., & Yaeger, M. (2018). Suspected case of hypersplenism as a cause of anaemia, thrombocytopenia and leucopenia in a Miniature Horse gelding. Equine Veterinary Education, 31(10), 530–534.

Zhao, K., Chi, Y., & Shen, X. (2020). Studies on edema pathema in hequ horse in the qinghai-tibet plateau. Biological Trace Element Research, 198(1), 142–148.

Abstract views: 101
PDF Downloads: 89
How to Cite
Holovakha, V. I., PiddubnуakO. V., Vovkotrub, N. V., Suslova, N. I., & BіlyіD. D. (2020). Efficacy of Vitazal® in foals with anemia syndrome. Theoretical and Applied Veterinary Medicine, 8(4), 246-250. https://doi.org/10.32819/2020.84035